What Do I Have to Do With a Certificate of Documentation?

A Certificate of Documentation must remain on board a documented vessel according to 46 CFR 67.313. 

That states, under “Requirement to have Certificate of Documentation on board,” that “the person in command of a documented vessel must have on board that vessel the original Certificate of Documentation currently in effect for that vessel.” 

How Do I Access a Boat Name Database?

Our site can be accessed for a “boat name search” of sorts. Through this search function, vessel owners can search for vessels by Official Number (ON) and Hull Identification Number (HIN). 

With this search, vessel owners can learn the name of a vessel. Additionally, they can find information such as the vessel’s flag, its service information, tonnage, dimensions, and even when its Certificate of Documentation was issued as well as when it will expire.

Steps to access a boat name database

Navigate to the vessel documentation search: Look for a section or link on the website that allows you to search for vessel documentation. This may be labeled as "Vessel Search," "Documentation Search," or something similar.
Enter the boat name: Once you've accessed the search function, enter the boat name you want to search for. You may also need to specify other search criteria, such as the state of registration or the vessel's documentation number if you have that information.
Review the results: After submitting your search, you should receive a list of vessels that match the name or criteria you entered. You can then click on a specific vessel to access more detailed information, including ownership and registration details.

Use this link to conduct this vessel documentation search
Other Ways to Access Boat Name Database
Accessing a boat name database can be useful if you're looking for information about specific boats or if you're interested in naming your own boat and want to check if the name is already in use.

Do I Have to Register My USCG Documented Vessel With the State of Georgia?


According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division: 

“For boats where Georgia is the state of primary use, documentation by the U.S. Coast Guard does not exempt the State of Georgia vessel registration requirement. Documentation by the U.S. Coast Guard only removes the requirement that the state registration numbers must be displayed on the vessel. You are still required to display the valid Georgia registration decal.” 

Does My Coast Guard Documented Vessel Have to Be Registered With the State of Arkansas?

No, it doesn’t. Vessels documented with the United States Coast Guard do not have to be documented in the state of Arkansas. 
Arkansas Boat Registration Explained 
According to the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, “boats propelled by sail or motor (including telling motors) of any type must be registered when operated on public waters,” but, they go on to say, “the only exceptions are: 

Vessels that are not propelled by an engine or by sail. 

Vessels properly registered in another state or using Arkansas waters for 90 or fewer consecutive days. 

How Long Will I Have to Wait to Receive Vessel Documentation?

Times vary. The NVDC works constantly yet they often have a backlog of registrations. Typically, the process takes between one month to four months, four to sixteen weeks. 

We do offer Priority Request/Rush Processing. With this, we put your documentation at the top of our queue, making it our top priority. 

Use this link to apply for initial vessel documentation.

What is an “Endorsement” in Vessel Documentation?

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, “endorsement,” in this context, “means an entry which may be made on a Certificate of Documentation and which, except for a recreational endorsement, is conclusive evidence that a vessel is entitled to engage in a specified trade.” 

Vessel owners are recommended to choose an endorsement that applies to how they will use their vessels. “Fishery” is for vessels that engage in commercial fishing operations on the navigable waters of the United States or in the Exclusive Economic Zone. 

“Coastwise” endorsements are for those vessels which transport people and/or goods on those same waters. “Registry” endorsements are for foreign/international trade. 

“Recreational”’ endorsements are for vessels that will be used for fun with friends, family, etc. All vessels can be used recreationally, but those with a “Recreational” endorsement can only be used for that purpose. 

Use this form to change the endorsement on your vessel documentation

Use this one to apply for initial USCG boat documentation

Does My Registered Port Have to Be Where I Keep My Vessel Most of the Time?

Your Hailing Port Does Not Have to Be Where You Keep Your Vessel 
While documented vessels must have a designated “hailing port on boat” or, as it’s also referred to, a “hailing port.” This hailing port does not have to be the port at which the vessel most often docks. The hailing port can be anywhere you choose, so long as it is a location in America. 

This is the port that the USCG will associate with your vessel. It will be on your Certificate of Documentation as well as on the hull of your vessel. 

Remember: the hailing port is not where the vessel owner hails from, but rather, where the vessel hails from. 

How Do I Transfer Title After My Spouse Has Passed Away?

If your vessel has a title,  you should contact the appropriate governing body in your state. 

If your vessel is documented with the USCG, then you should complete this form for Transfer Exchange of USCG Documentation

Remember: if the vessel has mortgages or liens against it, then you either must satisfy those or get the permission of the mortgage/lienholder. Submit that with your application above. 

Depending on if you wish to exchange the vessel documentation for your own (or another Representative, Estate Heir, Administrators, and so forth) then you may also need to present a Certified Death Certificate and other evidence. For further information, you can reach us at info@usregistrar.us

How to Get a Manufacturer Certificate of Origin for a Vessel

How to Get a Manufacturer Certificate of Origin for a Vessel?
A vessel owner should receive a Certificate of Origin when they purchase a vessel from a boat manufacturer or importer. This Certificate can be used to both register a vessel with a state and to obtain title. You can also use this to establish ownership when applying for a Certificate of Documentation with the USCG. 

You can use this form to apply for initial US vessel documentation

What Does Port Mean in Latin?

The word “Port” comes from “Portus.” In Latin, that word essentially means “haven” or “harbor,” both of which can be synonymous with a “port.” A port is a place where you can dock your vessel, where you are safe from the threats of the ocean, and so forth. 

A “hailing port,” then, is, in the context of USCG vessel documentation, the place from which the vessel can claim origin. It does not matter where this is (indeed, the location does not have to be coastal or close to any body of water). This hailing port can be a location of the vessel owner’s choosing, so long as it is a place in the United States that’s included in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 55DC.” 

A vessel owner can change their hailing port as well as their vessel name using this form

A vessel can owner can use this form to apply for initial US vessel documentation, choosing a hailing port there.

What is a Hull Identification Number?

The HIN regulations are quite easy to understand compared to some of the more complex regulations involved in boating, by which everyone must comply. We frequently receive many calls and messages on the subject, and we'd like to offer more information on HIN.
The HIN (“Hull Identification Number”) can be used to tell you the year the vessel was manufactured. Additionally, it can reveal the month, as well as other information you need to know about your vessel. 

Where to Find HIN on a Vessel?
The primary HIN must be permanently engraved or pasted on the hull on the starboard side of the transom within two inches of the top of the transom, gunwale, or hull/deck joint so that it can be seen from outside the boat. For registration purposes, to identify the vessel's hull number some states may require a pencil rubbing or tracing of the hull number. To create a pencil tracing, place a blank piece of paper on top of the number and rub a pencil across the paper so that an impression of the number appears. If the rubbing is not clearly legible write the numbers you see adjacent to the rubbing and take a digital photograph.